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Lekki taking pictures: Army admits troops deployed, denies opening fireplace | Nigeria

Lekki taking pictures: Army admits troops deployed, denies opening fireplace | Nigeria

Per week after the taking pictures of peaceable demonstrators in Lagos, Nigeria’s military has admitted its troopers have been deployed to revive order, however denied they opened fireplace on the gathered crowd protesting in opposition to police brutality.

At least 10 protesters have been killed within the Lekki plaza taking pictures on October 20, in keeping with Amnesty International.

The military had maintained that its troops weren’t on the website, however late on Tuesday a navy spokesman, Major Osoba Olaniyi, stated troopers have been despatched to implement a curfew. However, he denied that the troops shot on the protesters.

“At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian army open fire on any civilian,” Olaniyi stated in a press release.

Olaniyi stated troopers have been deployed on orders from the Lagos state authorities as a result of “violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away”.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, nonetheless, has stated the state has no authority over the nationwide military. “It is imperative to explain that no governor controls the rules of engagement of the army,” he wrote on Twitter the day after the taking pictures. “I have nevertheless instructed an investigation into the ordered and the adopted rules of engagement employed by the men of the Nigerian Army deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate.”

Demonstrators gesture throughout a protest over alleged police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria [File: Temilade Adelaja/Reuters]

The navy didn’t say how the troopers intervened to curb unrest past denying that they shot protesters.

The navy’s assertion got here shortly earlier than Amnesty International’s Wednesday publication of an investigation that stated it had tracked military autos from their Lagos barracks to Lekki Toll Gate utilizing images and verified movies of the troopers’ actions that had been posted on social media.

At 6:29pm (17:29 GMT) on October 20, two navy autos have been filmed leaving at Bonny Camp, whereas later footage exhibits 4 others that seem for use by the navy and police, in keeping with the group.

“What happened at Lekki Toll Gate has all the traits of the Nigerian authorities’ pattern of a cover-up whenever their defence and security forces commit unlawful killings,” stated Osai Ojigho, Amnesty’s nation director for Nigeria.

“The initial denials of the involvement of soldiers in the shooting was followed by the shameful denial of the loss of lives as a result of the military’s attack against the protests. Many people are still missing since the day of the incident, and credible evidence shows that the military prevented ambulances from reaching the severely injured in the aftermath.”

A Lagos-based soldier, who declined to be recognized as a result of this soldier was not authorised to talk to the media, advised Reuters information company that troops from the military 81st Division’s 65th Battalion, based mostly at Bonny Camp, had fired on unarmed civilians on the toll gate.

Witnesses at Lekki described armed males in military fatigues arriving round 7pm (18:00 GMT) on the website of the peaceable protests, the place demonstrators knelt to wave flags and sing the national anthem, earlier than the lads raised their weapons and shot into the gang.

A judicial panel started investigating the taking pictures on Tuesday. The panel can also be investigating allegations of abuse in opposition to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an notorious police unit accused of extortion, extrajudicial killings, rape and torture.

Youth-led protests in opposition to police brutality erupted in early October after a video that allegedly confirmed a SARS operative killing a person was broadly shared on-line.

After days of demonstrations, President Muhammadu Buhari’s authorities agreed to disband SARS, however the protests endured with contributors demanding sweeping reforms of the police drive and motion in opposition to corruption.

The taking pictures at Lekki plaza passed off after authorities imposed the round the clock curfew ordering everybody to remain at house. For two days after that, Lagos noticed widespread rioting.

Overall, Amnesty estimates that 56 folks have died throughout the nation because the protest started, together with protesters and “thugs who were allegedly hired by the authorities”.

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